Fast and free shipping options have become as important as the quality of the product itself. Both are crucial to building a loyal customer base. With growing competition in the fashion industry, every retailer is looking to offer its customers only the best.
The Independent, a British online news publisher, carried out a detailed investigation on failed deliveries in order to offer tips to avoid customer dissatisfaction. According to this survey, there are five key benefits that clients want from a delivery service.
- Clear, accurate online tracking
- Informative, proactive communication (text, phone or email alerts)
- Good and effective communication when problems inevitably occur
- Non premium rate phone numbers to call the courier service
- Higher level of support from the retailer
In-store shopping has largely been replaced by online purchases, more so in 2020 now that the world is hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Zara, one of the largest apparel retailers, has decided to shut down between 1000 and 1200 stores worldwide and divert resources into online sales strategies instead. Now that is a big move!
As reported by The Guardian, Inditex, the parent company of Zara, incurred a loss of about $460 million between February and April, coinciding with the global shutdown due to social distancing mandates. On the other hand, online sales rose 50% in the same quarter.
Offering the right shipping options to your customers must never be undermined. People now demand greater control over delivery services in order to enjoy the same level of convenience and efficiency that is made available to them in store.
The CEO of Inditex, Pablo Isla confirmed the company will offer customers “uninterrupted service no matter where they find themselves, on any device and at any time of the day.” Furthermore, the company plans to invest $1 billion into its online shopping platforms.
Even luxury brands are seen investing in online retail. From Cartier to Louis Vuitton, a significant attitude shift towards e-commerce has been witnessed, a move that high-end brands deliberately avoided all this time to maintain their exclusivity.
24 Sèvres, a multi-brand e-commerce website of LVMH, was launched in June 2017. In an interview with the Financial Times, the chief digital officer of LVMH, Ian Rogers described 24 Sèvres as the “shopping experience of the future”.
On-demand delivery services have become a top priority. The key is to know your buyer and offer delivery options at different price points to keep shipping costs down because free shipping, fast delivery and free returns matter to your clients.
So, what is the best way for fashion retailers to take control of the last mile?
- Be diligent when negotiating SLAs and contracts with third parties
- Vet the couriers
- Ensure the tech is in place to support end-to-end order management integration
- Enable real-time stock management and order status/updates
- Ensure there is a robust and detailed order management process flow
- Ensure there is a clear feedback loop for customers
We hope the above mentioned tips will help your fashion brands build strong customer relationships.